Premier league clubs fall back on salaries

Several BOV Premier League clubs have failed to pay their player’s wages, as the tournament heads into its fourth month of the 2019/20 season

Several BOV Premier League clubs have failed to pay their player’s wages, as the tournament heads into its fourth month of the 2019/20 season.

The issue was brought to light in a Facebook post penned by the Malta Football Players Association (MFPA), where it claimed that a good number of players from four different premier division clubs have not been paid any salaries this season.

“A good number of players in Malta’s Premier Division have not yet been paid any salaries four months into the season, with some still waiting for last season’s salaries,” the association said.

According to the Malta Football Association’s (MFA) ‘Financial Fair Play’ rules, by the 16 August, clubs must submit proof that all employees, including players, have been paid their dues for the previous season.

Players must also sign a document confirming their payment as proof.

When clubs have not paid their dues, rules allow for an extension to be granted, as long as the player agrees in writing.

This situation is not unusual according to the MFPA, which stated that a good number of players do so out of their own free will.

“However, it has recently come to our attention that a number of clubs are abusing this system with no apparent repercussions at all,” the MFPA said.

MFPA Deputy Secretary Konrad Sultana said that over 20 players, hailing from four different clubs have come forward with complaints to the association.

He also said that the players are both Maltese and foreigners.

Sultana also said that quite a few of the players are still owed salaries from last season, while having not signed an extension allowing for the delay in payment.

Sultana refused to divulge details about the clubs in question, but said that if the situation persists, “the media will be the first to know”.

Asked how the MFPA will be proceeding, Sultana said that it is currently in discussions with the MFA and the clubs, and said that the association’s first steps will be that of finding a diplomatic and fair solution.

“We are following their situation. We will see how the clubs will react, and then we will proceed,” Sultana said.

MFA President Bjorn Vassallo said that clubs are currently undergoing financial monitoring by the licensing department of the association, with the licensing core process starting soon after in January. The MFA is authorised by UEFA to act as licensor for the granting of UEFA and domestic licenses and is audited by the European football body regularly.

“We are currently at the monitoring period to ensure dues and commitments from last season are settled. If clubs do not pay their dues by the stipulated deadline, they will be sanctioned by the Licensing Board, in easy terms, they will have points deduction from the following football season. As from the new year the core processing starts which will enable clubs to get their license or otherwise,” Vassallo said.

“It must be said that from the introduction of the licensing and the financial fair play regulations, the financial situation of the clubs has improved drastically but there are still a small number of clubs which spend more than they earn and in doing so they get into financial problems which might threaten their long-term survival. Excessive spending is not justified, not even to keep the club competitive. The Malta FA will follow the rules like it did in recent years when various local clubs received heavy sanctions due to overdue payables and debts,” warned the MFA boss.

Vassallo said that the MFA has already acted on similar cases in the past, with a points deduction given to Marsaxlokk, Zurrieq and Floriana.